Targeted advertising could fill Boyle County jobs

The Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau usually directs its messaging efforts toward visitors, but Executive Director Jennifer Kirchner said to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans needed to be made to more effectively attract people to Boyle County to live and work. This, like many ways people, businesses and institutions have adapted to the pandemic, is heavily digital.

“Growing our population and therefore our local economy has been an overarching goal for economic development, but the pandemic has presented new opportunities for us,” Kirchner said in an email.

The CVB began working more closely with its partners within the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership to establish the Boldly Resilient Task Force, which has been meeting since May and is now part of the EDP Marketing and Recruitment Committee, she said. Discussions have revolved around how to position Boyle County to attract people to live and work in the county who want to leave more urban areas for a quieter, safer and slower-paced lifestyle, Kirchner said, and how to set a target for who Boyle County is trying to reach and why.

The discussions have led the task force “to specifically target filling approximately 400+ jobs we have available in Boyle County,” Kirchner said in an email.

“We further concluded that a job is a piece of what people need to relocate, so we are currently analyzing those jobs and creating a digital profile or ‘avatar’ to target with messaging that encourages people to look to Boyle County for relocation and employment,” she said in an email. “So, in essence the outcome is a talent recruitment and relocation campaign. This helps our employers fill their needs and grows our tax base.”

In marketing, an avatar is essentially a profile of a customer or user based on compiled data created by a company or institution to better understand and cater to their needs, desires and habits. From there, targeted advertisements can be created for the intended audience, and Kirchner said the more specific the design of the avatar, the more targeted the advertising can be.

“With technology today, specifically location tracking on your mobile device, we know so much about people’s habits and decisions that we can be very specific in delivering these digital ads to those who are actually considering a change in their lives,” Kirchner said in an email. “We will work with a media company to access that data and they will also deliver and optimize the ad. The ad is delivered based on the user’s preferences and not through a specific website.”

A theoretical example of this, Kirchner said, is that based on Google Analytics data and mobile device information, an ad for health care jobs could be sent with a positive message about living in Danville to a health care professional in Louisville who has recently been using Zillow, a website where people can find real estate for sale or rent. This could put the idea of looking for a place to live and work in Danville into that person’s mind.

During an EDP meeting on Oct. 21, Kirchner noted that there is a housing gap in the county, and these methods of targeting will also be useful to attract developers and businesses to Boyle County, she said.

“These discussions have highlighted the need to further analyze our housing stock and understand if we have adequate housing to offer new residents,” she said in an email. “If we are encouraging people to move here, then we need to also recognize the supply must adequately meet the demand. These detailed conversations about demographics and resources are ongoing.”